A few months ago I received a phone call from one of my favorite and most talented producers Kia Kiso of Zaza Productions. She asked me to come back to Los Angeles to do the makeup for two videos we were shooting for Neil Nathan in three days. Of course I said yes!!! I showed up on a Thursday afternoon via train ( because I can work for three hours and enjoy the scenic view). Kia picked me up in Van Nuys and then I went to go meet the rest of the crew we were working with. Ric Serena, Vaj Potenza and Ed Chin. We were on location the whole time whether it be driving along the coast on the PCH to filming on snow-capped mountains in Frazier Park. I must say that being involved in a music video is one of my favorite places to be doing makeup. You get to do what you love while barely sleeping, usually snacking and making the best of friends at the end. A few months later the final result. An amazing music video! Well, two in this case! In the first video we shot “California Run”. Rosario Dawson made a guest appearance. She was super sweet and had the most flawless skin (which makes my job easy) and who doesn’t love jewelry shopping in a country coffee cafe after you wrap? lol. The other amazingly talented actress you see driving is Laura Baggett. Laura is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met and such a hard worker. The second video we shot “When The Rain Falls” was in Lancaster,CA. It was sooo windy and apparently lots of rattlesnakes. Thank God I did not have the pleasure of meeting one. The gorgeous actress you see in this video is Nakia Syvonne. She has the best personality and is great at her craft. We wrapped late Sunday night and headed back to Lala Land. But don’t think we didn’t have a margarita to celebrate our hard work!
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Want more info on Neil Nathan? Read his Bio here and then go to http://www.neilnathan.com and buy his latest album The Distance Calls.
It’s safe to say that New York City’s Neil Nathan is a fan of Detroit music. So it was only natural for the guitar man to travel to Detroit Rock City to record his debut LP, The Distance Calls, set for release August 24th, 2010. Nathan reached out to Bobby Harlow, a member of the seminal Detroit garage-rock group The Go (Jack White appeared on their Sub Pop release) to produce his debut full-length album. “Bobby Harlow is one of my favorite singer/songwriter/producers and I trusted him completely,” gushes Nathan. So to the “D” he went, where Harlow collected some of the Motor City’s finest rock musicians as Nathan’s backing band. The all-star lineup included Dean Fertita (The Dead Weather, QOTSA), Kenny Tudrick and Joey Mazzola (Detroit Cobras), John Krautner (The Go), and Ross Westerbur (Deadstring Brothers).
Recorded and mixed at acclaimed Tempermill Studios in 10 days, The Distance Calls effortlessly merges jangly pop rock with Nathan’s mellower singer/songwriter side. With a dash of NYC glitter and some good old Detroit fuzz and stomp, it showcases a musician clearly influenced by the ‘70s (without being cliché). “This is the first record I’ve done where there’s a balance to my sound. Bobby was able to successfully marry my harder rock side with the singer/songwriter in me,” says Nathan.
Matthew Sweet, Cat Stevens, and Detroit blues-rock influence and mingle with each other on The Distance Calls, while remaining distinctly Nathan. There are few musicians out there that can pull off this kind of disparity in their sound, but Nathan and Harlow (who also sings on the track “Get On”) succeeded. Bringing back the lost art of the “fade out,” Nathan jaunts from classic rock with some Marc Bolan spark and swagger, to singer/songwriter with a touch of Americana twang. Neil Nathan is an electric warrior with a softer side.
While some tracks may sneak up on you more than others, every song leaves you with a catchy chorus. Nathan’s affection for iconic ‘70s music couldn’t be clearer than his folky version of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Do Ya.” Impressed by Nathan’s version, mega ELO man Jeff Lynne gave it his blessing for inclusion on Showtime’s Californication Soundtrack. Nathan’s music has also appeared in the Rosario Dawson film Descent. He was excited for another opportunity to work with Dawson, his friend and former roommate, when she recently guest starred in his music video for The Distance Calls’ lead single, “California Run.”
“Making this album forced me to grow in many ways, the experience of working so closely with one of my favorite singer/songwriter/producers in Bobby Harlow and recording with the incredible musicians he assembled, was a whirlwind of new learning’s from both a performance and songwriting perspective.”
“I wanted Neil to walk away from this experience elated,” offers Harlow. And Nathan clearly is. “This is the best thing I’ve done to date. No doubt about it.” After a few EPs and singles, The Distance Calls is finally the album Nathan wanted to make. “It really showcases the style of songs I like to write; from hard rock to folk to countrified rock to garage to power pop.” And whether they’re rockers or folk songs, love or loss songs, or driving down the highway summer songs, Nathan now has a powerful collection of songs to stand the test of time.